Leveraging Imagination, Collaboration, and Innovation to Create Success Beyond your Wildest Dreams
As Executive Creative Director for one of the world’s most creative companies, Cirque du Soleil, Welby Altidor was responsible for groundbreaking live events. His leadership there taught him that creativity isn’t reserved to a happy few, but the result of intentional practice: it can be found within all of us. In his new book Creative Courage, he helps us stoke innovation through collaboration and controlled failure—ways to transform our approach to business and life.
As Executive Creative Director of Creations at Cirque du Soleil, one of the world’s most creative companies, Welby Altidor oversaw the day-to-day development of a portfolio of Crique’s core ground-breaking shows and special projects for nearly sixteen years, including the critically acclaimed and box office big-top success, Luzia: A Waking Dream of Mexico. He was Creative Director for Michael Jackson ONE, “a multimedia extravaganza that often flies high, but never loses sight of its inspiration” (Associated Press) that continues to be a hit show in residence at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. He spearheaded the creation of C:LAB, the creative laboratory of The Cirque du Soleil Group. The lab’s first project, SPARKED, a short film that features ten drones and unites humans and flying machines in choreography, won several prizes and accolades, including the NYC International drone film festival award for Best Short Featuring drones.
Altidor is the author of Creative Courage: Leveraging Imagination, Collaboration, and Innovation to Create Success Beyond Your Wildest Dreams—a practical guide to gaining “the perspective, courage, and kick start you need to think differently about the things you do every day.” Throughout, he shares his unique, surprising journey over the last 20 years at the cutting edge of live innovation, relentlessly working towards moving audiences and stressing the importance of creating collaborative cultures.
Previously, Altidor was Cirque du Soleil’s Director of Creation in the Images, Events, and Lifestyle division, where he worked with leading Hollywood producers, creators, and artists, like Jamie King, Billy Crystal, Alicia Keys, and Russell Simons. He played several leadership roles at Cirque du Soleil as Director of Strategic Relations, Arts, Circus, and Sports. In this role, he developed strategic partnerships in more than a dozen countries. His first position at Cirque was in the casting department as a talent scout, traveling the world and recruiting hundreds of artists for Cirque shows. Since leaving Cirque du Soleil, Altidor has become a sought-after creative leader who consults with leading creative firms around the world, in addition to being an in-demand speaker, with organizations including Fortune 100 companies like Nike, Sephora, and SAP.
Altidor is the Group Chief Creative Officer of Singapore-based holding City Neon. There, he spearheads the company’s global roster of international projects, including partnerships with entertainment giants like Marvel (Disney) and Jurassic Park from Universal Studios.
“You were so wonderful to work with and I hope to have another opportunity soon. Presenters like you make my job so much easier—thanks! Best wishes to you and to the future success of Cirque!”Economic Developers Council of Ontario
“Welby Altidor is a fantastic speaker and inspiration. His positive energy and creative perspective really drive home his messages to audiences with sincerity. He has a great playful side to him that engages his audiences, making participation fun. I highly recommend Welby for motivating large groups.”Mandalay Bay Hotel and Resort
Welby Altidor is a firm believer that, whether we realize it or not, we all have access to a unique creative genius in all of us. It takes courage—creative courage—to welcome and unleash that inner force. Drawing on his experiences as Director of Creation for Cirque du Soleil’s hit Las Vegas show Michael Jackson ONE, Altidor focuses on engagement, motivation, focus, authenticity, and leadership. There are no dumb ideas, he says, just platforms to build upon. We have to give everyone a voice, and collaborate to access an idea’s full potential. We should seek feedback early—essentially scheduling failure—to improve. Businesses and organizations need to be more creative and innovative, he argues—and a creative mindset can help us solve problems, challenge the status quo, and be more successful than ever.